Concurrent engineering and its consequences
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Technology and market changes introduce uncertainty and equivocality in the product development arena, and firms are considering various structural relationships to help them cope with these changes. Concurrent engineering (CE) is a mechanism that can reduce uncertainty and equivocality and improve an organization's competitive capabilities. CE is typically manifested through concurrent work-flows, product development teams, and early involvement of constituents. It enables information to flow through the organization quickly and effectively thereby, reducing uncertainty. At the same time, it enables debate, clarification, and enactment which are essential elements in combating equivocality. CE practices are also purported to have significant effects on product innovation, quality, and premium price capabilities. This research carefully defines CE and creates a valid and reliable instrument to assess it. It reports on the development and testing of a model that relates CE to some of its most salient consequences. Half of the sample of 244 firms is used for exploratory purposes and half for confirmatory work and hypotheses testing. Results indicate that firms that experience a high technological and product change in their environment are using more CE practices. In addition, results suggest that CE practices have significant direct effects on product innovation. However, only the indirect effects of CE on quality and premium pricing are statistically significant. Firms with higher levels of product innovation have higher levels of quality. Firms with higher levels of product innovation do exhibit premium pricing capabilities but only if they affect quality capabilities. Firms that display elevated quality levels excel in their premium pricing capabilities.
author list (cited authors)
Koufteros, X., Vonderembse, M., & Doll, W.